Couponing 101

3 Aug

Several months ago, I made a weak attempt to purchase a Sunday paper and cut out coupons.  I still spent over $200 at the grocery store.  Frustrated and tired, I gave up…too quickly!

At the recent Southeast Homeschool Expo, I attended a budget and couponing workshop by Michele Helms.  She steered me back in the direction of cutting coupons.  She suggested that we choose one grocery store and one drug store (i.e. CVS, Rite Aid) to follow every week.  Product sales are cyclical, usually 6-8 weeks, so if your favorite mayonnaise is Buy One Get One Free this week, you can be assured that the same brand of mayo will be on sale again within two months or less.

If you live in the southeast, Publix offers Buy One Get One Free sales that means each item is half price.  If you have a coupon for that particular BOGO product, you’ve saved even more!  Therein lies the basic concept of couponing 101.

CVS is another terrific place to save.  First, sign up for the ExtraCare card so you can begin earning ExtraCare Bucks – or ECBs – on specified products.  If you purchase an item via the CVS ad that entitles you to ExtraCare Bucks, the amount prints on your receipt.  It’s free money!  Be aware that the ECBs have an expiration.  I haven’t taken advantage of the ExtraCare program (only because I never understood the couponing concept) but I’ll be on the prowl this week!

Check out www.southernsavers.com for all the couponing information.  If you are a beginner, take it slowly.  The site is chock full of wonderful tips, video tutorials, getting started guides, printable coupons and weekly store savings.

Are you ready to take on the couponing challenge with me?!

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